My first thought after reading a few chapters was, “this is a wonderfully weird book.” The characters as well as the setting captured my interest right away, but I still wasn’t certain where it was going, so it was a little bit of a slow start for me.
Once the story circled back and the events that brought Solo to Oregon were revealed, the pages started turning much faster. I enjoyed how the author chose to share Solo’s story in a careful and deliberate revelation of his past.
However, the important lessons taught between the lines are the true gems here. Solo’s friendship with Eric, his Down syndrome neighbor, teaches tolerance and shows young readers to stand up for those who can’t always stand up for themselves—and that sometimes kids like Eric can really surprise you.
As Solo struggles with his new situation and the confusion that comes with his parent’s sudden decision to turn his whole world upside down, will help children deal with their own similar circumstances.
And Solo’s journey to understand his father’s depression is an important lesson he and his parents must learn together as they learn to find healing and forgiveness.
With a cast of wonderful supporting characters—including the wildlife, Avenging the Owl will appeal to parents, teachers and children alike. I would even recommend this book as required reading in schools.